During an event last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for a “VA for All” system and declared that there is, actually, nothing wrong with the scandal-ridden and completely worthless Veteran’s Affairs healthcare system in the United States.
As Bonchie noted in the post linked above, you can pretty much guarantee that Ocasio-Cortez has never once set foot into a VA waiting room in need of their services. You can also be sure that at no point did she actually discuss this talking point with anyone who has had to experience the VA system.
If she were paying attention to anything other than the general fantasy that “government-run = good”, she would not be openly espousing what she is.
On April 9, a veteran committed suicide in a VA waiting room in Texas. A few days prior, a veteran did the same in a parking lot outside a VA in Decatur, Georgia, while another did so outside the main entrance of a VA in Atlanta. These were men who had tried and failed to get treatment at their local VA, but wait times and incompetent care failed to address their needs.
In December, a veteran’s suicide note claimed “I bet if you look at the 22 suicides a day you will see VA screwed up in 90 percent.”
These are not the success stories of a working system. They are the stories of the failure of a bogged-down government system that exists solely to exist and does not see the need to get better. It is secure in its position as the healthcare system for veterans.
And that is all Ocasio-Cortez needs to know. Her approach to the scandals of the VA is to treat it almost like it’s “fake news” or right-wing propaganda meant to smear the name of the Great And Glorious State. She does this because she is ignorant of the issue.
Ocasio-Cortez has never had to deal with the VA system. She has never had to schedule an appointment months ahead of time, even if there is a pressing issue right at that moment. She has never had to deal with understaffed offices that deal more with bureaucratic tape than actual patients. She will never know the aggravation of showing up for an appointment only to wait for hours and never be seen by any medical professional. And, because she herself has never had to suffer these indignities, she doesn’t really grasp what’s wrong with the system.
And if she can’t see a problem, there must not be a problem.
Her ignorance, then, is being used as experience. “It’s never happened to me, so it must not happen at all,” she thinks to herself. This is the only explanation that makes sense, given that a simple Google search for the VA will turn up a host of news articles that do nothing but expose the system as a program in shambles and unable to provide for its patients.
This mentality explains so much of who Ocasio-Cortez is and what she believes. She’s never experienced bread lines, an oppressive state, and the totalitarian regimes that exist to make communism and socialism happen, therefore those can’t be things that actually happen. She has never had to experience her health insurance getting torn to shreds by new regulations and having to change plans or doctors because of new bureaucratic nightmares that exist when the government overhauls a huge chunk of the American economy, so she doesn’t believe that the Affordable Care Act has caused the problems it has.
In fact, in her world, these things have worked so well we must do them more and harder.
The world she longs to create is based on fantasy. It lacks the wisdom taught by experience – or, lacking, simply reading up on the subject at hand, whatever it may be – and focuses solely on the theory and idea behind it. This isn’t stupidity. It’s worse. It’s willful ignorance being treated as actual experience, all in the name of “Justice!” and “Doing What’s Right!” at the expense of those who have to live under the consequences of foolish ideas.